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Everon - Fantasma CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.93 | 88 ratings

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4 stars Pompous heavy prog, almost on the metal and/or 1980s "classic rock"vein. Nice clean sound production and enough space to hear everything--which is nice.

1. "Men Of Rust" (6:20) opening with a Iona-like near-Celtic Prog rocker, there is a great reverb effect on the prominent grand piano. The sound is so clear and clean! Great use of frequent changes of temp and motif with very smooth and comfortable/believable shifts--a feat which can only come with mature songwriting and highly proficient musicianship. I'm not quite as impressed with the vocal or vocal melody choices. (8.75/10)

2. "Perfect Remedy" (5:19) straightforward ballad with great melodic hook and catchy, pleasing music. Oliver's vocals work very well in this style and medium. (8.75/10)

3. "Fine With Me" (3:33) opens heavy and abrasive like a great BLUE ÖYSTER CULT or URIAH HEEP song. Oliver's voice here sounds quite different--nearer to Geddy Lee and Ozzie Osbourne than previously. Everything on this song is working. Great prog song. My first top three song. (9.25/10)

4. "A Day By The Sea" (5:47) some fine anthemic music with awesome textural and mood change in the mid-section and three different tempo shifts. My favorite Oliver Philipps vocal performance on the album and a top three song for me. (9.25/10)

Fantasma Suite: (55.5/65) 5. "Right Now..." (2:04) a sound that seems to combine RUSH and late-1970/early 1980s YES. (4.5/5) 6. "... Til The End Of Time" (5:16) ?turns more AC/DC w/Brian Ferry singing, though a little more sophisticated on all levels. (8.25/10) 7. "Fantasma-Theme" (0:38) computer-piano solo. 8. "The Real Escape" (4:24) cello, classical guitar, and synth strings provide the foundation for three quarters of this vocal ballad. (8.25/10) 9. "Whatever It Takes" (2:10) repeat of Fantasma piano theme, this time with band support and vocals. Sounds more like a finale. (4/5) 10. "Battle Of Words" (3:42) solo computer-piano opens this one before YES-like rhythm section joins in. At 0:49 the music shifts slightly before the addition of STEVE HOWE-like lead guitar--which really picks up and shines over the course of this pleasant instrumental. (8.75/10) 11. "May You" (4:33) Oliver and piano open this delicate song, singing softly in a JOHN WETTON-like voice. (How chameleonic is this man?) Ballads on heavy prog/prog metal albums always feel a little out of place to me--and this one is very much like a Disney anthem. (8.5/10) 12. "Ghosts-Intro" (1:52) could be a Paul Speer or Chris Spheeris New Age piece. (4/5) 13. "Ghosts" (5:55) another RUSH- and THOMAS THELEN-like anthemic ballad. Great guitar solo featured in the sweet spot of the song. Nice. Great last impression to leave the listener with. My final top three song. (9.25/10)

Total Time: 51:45

While I love the sound production on this album--this despite the use of some of those dated 1990s keyboards that I never liked--the musical style choices and vocals don't always hit the mark for me--and the "Fantasma Suite" is just one big splat--totally lacks meaning, cohesive flow, or redeeming features to me.

B/four stars; an excellent addition to any prog lover's music collection and something even more attractive to someone that loves the sounds and styles of those 1980s power rockers.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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